NORWEGIAN COMPANY TO CO-DEVELOP SHTOKMANOVSKOE GAS FIELD

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MURMANSK, November 17 (RIA Novosti's Yekateria Kozlova) - The Norwegian company Statoil will partake in the development of the world's largest gas field Shtokmanovskoe, Valeri Kaminski, general director of the Oceanology Institute, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. Kaminski attends the 2nd international conference Arctic Shelf Oil and Gas-2004.

"A big consortium is being established to develop the Shtokmanovskoe field. It will comprise the Russian companies Gazprom and Rosneft, Norwegian company Statoil", Kaminski said.

Shtokmanovskoe, found in the drifting ice zone and between 380 and 385 metres deep, defies development

"The Norwegian involvement will speed up the development of Shotmanovskoe because Norway is a foremost country in tapping offshore hydrocarbon fields in the Arctic. Russia, so far, lack such technologies", Kaminski sighed.

He believes that each member of the consortium will in the future have a fixed share of gas production from Shtokmanovskoe in keeping with the law on mineral deposits, adopted by the Russian parliament in late 2004.

Kaminski noted that the last version of the concept of Shtokmanovskoe development does not provide for laying a pipeline from the field to the Kola peninsula, as believed earlier, because the coast is at least 600 kilometres away from the field.

Kaminski said that, according to specialists, the most expedient way is to build a gas liquefaction plant directly at the field with further gas transport from to West Europe and America.

The 2nd international conference Arctic Shelf Oil and Gas-2004 is held in Murmansk on November 17 through 19. It is attended by representatives of 90 oil- and gas-producing enterprises from ten countries.

The first such conference was held here in 2002.

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